Types of workplace discrimination.

One of the main reasons that someone facing discrimination in the work place hesitates to take legal action is because they are not aware of their rights and how they can protect themselves.

As an employee, it is important for you to recognize whether or not your fellow workers or employer is discriminating against you. There are clear signs that you can look for and classify the behavior as harassment.

The following is a list of recognized types of workplace discrimination.



Racial discrimination.

One of the most common forms of discrimination is when the employer prefers one employee over the other based on the color of their skin.

It is not uncommon for an employer to give benefits to someone of the same race as them, despite the fact that they are not as qualified.

If not dealt with early, then this could escalate to harassment, where you can face condescending remarks, racial slurs or offensive comments and symbols about physical features and race.

The law allows light, harmless teasing, but if you are hurt by these remarks, then it is time to go to an employment solicitor and get help.



Maternity discrimination.

It is unfortunate, but it is also common for employers to treat pregnant women differently.

If a woman is unable to perform her assignments properly because she is pregnant, then she should be given some slack, but that does not always happen.

If you are pregnant, then it is the duty of your employer to give you a lighter workload and allow for paid maternal leave with continued job security.

However, if no accommodations are made for your condition or your workload has notably increased or that you are overburdened, then that can be considered harassment.



Age discrimination.

It is not against the law or uncommon for employers to favor a more experienced employee over a new one, despite the fact that they are the same age.

However, it is illegal when they start to treat someone unfairly because of their age. The law forbids mistreatment of an employee who is of forty years or older.

So, if you fall into that category and you feel that you are being treated unfairly when it comes to the pay, job security, assignments, promotions, training benefits or contracts, then you should get in touch with a good employment lawyer and build your case.



Religious descrimination.

The most common form of discrimination is when you are being discriminated against on the basis of your religion.

This can mean that you are given either too much or not enough work in the office or are excluded from office functions, parties, or even conversations on the basis of what religion you practice.

Someone possibly less qualified than you could be reaping the benefits you should gain since they practice a religion that is more accepted than yours.


Gender inequality.

It is discrimination to be hired, disciplined or fired based on one’s gender. One subtle but very real consequence of gender discrimination is the glass ceiling, defined as the limited height to which women can rise in a corporation, government or business.

It is also gender discrimination for pay grades to be determined based on gender rather than importance of, quality and quantity of work.


Is this discrimination or harassment?

Workplace harassment.

There is a difference between discrimination and harassment.

Discrimination is the lighter of the two where your rights are being taken from you, while harassment is when you are treated with periodic or ongoing open hostility.

Gray areas.

Weight discrimination.

There are grey areas that give rise to debate over whether a behavior is truly discrimination or harassment, including weight, income level, class, affiliations, etc.

Although these are not included in the legal definition of discrimination or harassment, there are still ways to deal with these circumstances through your human resources department or manager directly.


By consulting a good agency, you can find out how to tackle these problems and get the treatment you deserve.



Leslie Quinn has researched various employment lawyers to learn how office politics work. She refers to experts on this website to help individuals understand how they can fight for their rights.

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